The Lib Dem legacy: right to 30-day refund becomes law

The BBC reports:

New consumer protection measures – including longer refund rights – have come into force under the Consumer Rights Act.

For the first time anyone who buys faulty goods will be entitled to a full refund for up to 30 days after the purchase.

Previously consumers were only entitled to refunds for a “reasonable time”.

There will also be new protection for people who buy digital content, such as ebooks or online films and music.

They will be entitled to a full refund, or a replacement, if the goods are faulty.

The Act also covers second-hand goods, when bought through a retailer.

People buying services – like a garage repair or a haircut – will also have stronger rights.

Under the new Act, providers who do not carry out the work with reasonable care, as agreed with the consumer, will be obliged to put things right.

Or they may have to give some money back.

In many cases retailers offer to refund goods even when they are not faulty – for example if customers change their minds about a product – but there is no statutory right to a refund.

The Act was introduced and taken through Parliament by former consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson, who spoke to the Money Saving Expert website about the changes earlier this year.

There is a useful summary of the changes here.

* Nick Thornsby is a day editor at Lib Dem Voice.

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